A black man who died in police custody in Minneapolis was seen on a bystander’s video pleading that he could not breathe as a white officer knelt on his neck during the arrest and kept his knee there for several minutes after the man stopped moving.
The death on Monday night drew comparisons to the case of Eric Garner, an unarmed black man who died in 2014 in New York after he was placed in a chokehold by police and pleaded for his life, saying he could not breathe.
The video below taken by a bystander emerged on Tuesday showing the white police officer pinning a black man identified as George Floyd to the ground moments before he loses consciousness and dies.
Floyd was arrested for allegedly using a fake $20 bill to make a purchase at a local Cup Foods, according to the report. He was heard repeatedly telling officers that he cannot breathe as he lay on the ground next to the tire of a squad car.
‘Please, please, please, I can’t breathe. Please, man,’ Floyd, who is shirtless, begs the cop.
After several minutes, one of the officers tells the man to ‘relax.’ ‘Man, I can’t breathe,’ Floyd responds, before eventually passing out.
The FBI and state law enforcement authorities announced on Tuesday they have launched an investigation into the man’s death, while the two officers, identified on social media as Derek Chauvin and Tou Thao, have been placed on paid administrative leave, Dailymail reported.
‘This abusive, excessive and inhumane use of force cost the life of a man who was being detained by the police for questioning about a non-violent charge,’ Ben Crump, the attorney for George Floyd’s family said in a statement.
‘We will seek justice for the family of George Floyd, as we demand answers from the Minnesota Police Department. How many “while black” deaths will it take until the racial profiling and undervaluing of black lives by police finally ends?’
Watch the video below. Viewer’s discretion please
Minneapolis Police Department confirmed Tuesday that Floyd died in hospital on Monday after officers had responded to a ‘forgery in progress.’
They did not release details on Floyd’s alleged offense, or what he had been doing in the lead up to his attempted arrest.
According to CBS Local, Floyd was apprehended outside Cup Foods grocery store around 8pm after he allegedly tried to use forged documents at a deli.
Police found the man, believed to be in his 40s, matching the suspect’s description in his car.
‘He was ordered to step from his car. After he got out, he physically resisted officers,’ police spokesman John Elder claimed in a statement.